3. Landing Olivier Vernon in a trade with the Giants
Last season, defensive end Myles Garrett ended up breaking out for the Cleveland Browns. The No. 1 overall pick in 2017 out of Texas A&M finished his second campaign with 44 tackles and 13.5 sacks. He was incredible off the edge but was often left to do most of the pass rushing on his own.
The team as a whole finished with just 37 sacks which landed them in a tie for 22nd in the league. Knowing they needed to improve in this area, they went out and struck a deal with the New York Giants for defensive end Olivier Vernon.
A former third-round pick out of Miami, Vernon developed into a star for the Miami Dolphins who he played for from 2012 through 2015. Then before the 2016 season, he signed a five-year deal worth $85 million. This was part of a massive defensive overhaul in New York, which had great results in 2016 but faded fast and led to them making some moves to start fresh — which allowed Cleveland the chance to land Vernon.
In his three seasons with New York, Vernon had 22 sacks and made his first Pro Bowl in 2018. He now becomes the second act to Garrett, but he’s surely going to be one of the best secondary pass rushers in the league.
Of course, the price to land Vernon was high as they sent right guard Kevin Zeitler to the Giants in the deal. However, it could end up looking brilliant as long as the offensive line doesn’t suffer.